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In choosing a set of keywords you would like to target, there are a few things that you will need to use to make sure that you get to choose the best set. Besides the fact that you need to do a lot of research, you will need tools. One of them is the Keyword planner.
Google’s Keyword Planner has been a loyal companion to every single SEO strategists that ever walked the planet.
However, there are parts of it that we all look past at. Is depending solely on the Keyword Planner a good thing? Let’s find out.
Starting with the average monthly searches (the search volume of a keyword) part for each keywords on this tool, we all know that choosing the best ones means choosing the ones that have high numbers. But what we never realize is that it is what it says it is. “Averages” of what the real numbers are.
An average search volume of 10 can, in actuality be a 9 or 8 searches a month. So completely dismissing these types of keywords can be a big waste.
The next part here, that we feel we need to address just in case, is that the tool also displays competition levels. This once again is no indicative of a keywords competition level for SEO. Which brings us to another aspect here to keep in mind. And this is the fact that the keyword planner is a tool specifically made for and is found in Google adwords. That’s right, there really isn’t any other Google based tool that’s for SEO and keyword research. Yet, this is still a good and important tool to utilize. The point is that it’s not exactly for SEO only.
In choosing keywords, it’s easy to fall victim and concentrate all your attention to short tailed keywords. This is mostly because of the fact that shorter keywords will give you high average monthly searches. As they should. The only problem here is that once you go and check the competition levels, you will end up having to fight against big and well established websites.
The middle ground in all of this then is to choose long tail keywords that’s got okay(ish) levels of search volumes. Yes, long tail keywords can sometimes come up and show only 10 average monthly search volume, but, remember that this tool gives you averaged out numbers.
In the end, no. Just depending on this tool isn’t enough. There’s also the bad news that the tool recently did an update earlier this year and all the displays and details have changed. Although it is still considered a very essential tool for your average SEO strategist, these changes also mean that there will be a certain amount of getting used to again while we all try and re-learn how to utilize it better.
If you’ve been meaning to branch out however, there is good news for you. There are lots of other tools out there available so you can filter out the best sets of keywords for your campaign.
One of them is AHREFS. They started as a simple back link checker back in 2011 and has since evolved and grown extra tools over time. Including a keyword planner. One cool detail AHREFS has got is their “Keyword Difficulty” or KD score column which calculates the competition. This one is a bit accurate and the best part is that it is updated regularly. So if a keyword’s competition changes within a span of a week, you will get to see the changes here as well.
The only disadvantage here is that, it can be a bit expensive. But, a little sacrifice will make you earn a lot more in the future.
Another tool is KWFinder. This orange tool is a bit new, but it’s got features that makes it worthy to be included in our list today:
First of all, this tool is cloud based. No need to login to adwords or anything like that. Second, it’s surprisingly easy to use and read. I tested it out and in it, you will even see a trends graph for each keyword that comes up. Much like AHREFS, it also has a KD scoring column. (Are these two tools related? *Conspiracy intensifies*) Lastly, it’s very affordable starting at $20 a month.
To summarize, although the Keyword Planner has been with us for a long time, it shouldn’t be the only tool for checking keywords you want to use for SEO. Plus, for more quality output, investing on tools other than adword’s keyword planner is not really a bad thing most especially when you get to realize the amount of data these tools can provide you.